• Michael6 posted an update 1 day, 2 hours ago

    I’m grateful for the support here and responses to my posts. I am back on the sober road now. The good news is that my young son wants to see me and catch up. My partner is also still with me. I feel I have been handed another lifeline of love, grace and encouragement. Now I just need to stay on the sober way and deal with my head and emotions.

  • Hi all, I am astounded that even though I posted here only 8 days ago re my young son not wanting to see me, I have still had a couple more binges!? Now my partner doesn’t want to see me today. She’s also had enough! I don’t understand my behaviour? In the face of losing all I love I still give in?? Sitting alone in hangover today. I must part company with this terrible destructive monster. I don’t want to end up a bitter, sad, lonely old drunk!!!

    • When I quit, I had come to the understanding that there was no amount of alcohol that was okay for me. It’s scary, deciding to never drink again. But people do it all the time, and sometimes, everything depends on it. It really is nice over here on the sober side. You have succeeded at other things, why not this?

    • So many of us drink so that we won’t “feel.” But the problems are still there even when the bottle is empty. Getting sober won’t fix the problems by itself, but being a person YOU like and respect is the place to start. You can do this.

    • @Michael6 You can do this. I know it’s scary but when you want nothing more than to drink, please please keep your son and partner in the forefront of your mind. They deserve a better you and you know that, or you wouldn’t be here. It really is scary deciding to stop, but oh, it’s so so worth it if you can just start making your way through those temptations. You will be so very very glad that you did. Bulk up on support. Find all of the support you can. Read, read and read some more. Be accountable. Keep posting so we can offer our help. We’re all struggling, but clearly it is possible to break the cycle, as many here have.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 1 week, 3 days ago

    Thank you so much. I needed to hear that. My son will be 13 next Month. I write to him and send him cards and he doesn’t reply. But I will continue to do so. What he needs is a sober Dad who always turns up when he expects me. That I will work on.

    • Keep going @Michael6 he’s only 13 and he will grow and change. Right now he might be angry, but over time he can learn that you will always be there for him. And from time to time send him a new school bag or hoodie (make sure they’re cool haha). Things that you would do if he was under your roof. Underneath it all he needs you, there is no replacement for you in his life xo

    • Yes, never stop giving and giving, demanding nothing, and you will win him back. He needs to see you really mean it and put your all into getting free and well.
      You can do it, just read the stories here!!!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 1 week, 3 days ago

    Thank you

    • Two other podcasts that I haven’t had a chance to listen to, but have been recommended are Recovery Elevator and Soberful.

  • Michael6 posted an update 1 week, 3 days ago

    I’m posting to reach out for support. I’m nursing another bloody hangover today. Sitting here depressed and very upset as my ex just wrote to me saying my 12 year old Son feels he is better off not seeing me. I’m gutted and in a panic. I love him so much. But I can see it’s all down to the monster that is alcoholism. This terrible thing really does remove everything that is special. My big Sister died recently unexpectedly. Her funeral was a couple of weeks ago (not alcohol related) so I feel that I have now lost my Sister and my Son. But I hear he is doing well, which is good. I don’t think I accepted the fact that he would want to stop seeing me if I kept drinking. I was always sober on our days together. But I obviously let him down one too many times. This has to be a wake up call. My partner is just about hanging on. But I have to accept that I could lose her too. I hope and pray that I can get out of this nightmare and say no the next time the monster comes knocking and lying that it would be a good idea to drink. It never ever is for me. It has taken so much. I don’t want to lose anything else. Hopefully I will see my boy some time in the future. I’m so sad 😞.

    • It’s great that you are reaching out to this community for support. I’m only 3 weeks in, but I’m so happy I have done it and I know you can, too. I was also letting my spouse and kids down, repeatedly. I kept trying to stop for them, because I knew it was the right thing to do. What finally switched me from knowing that I needed to, to honestly feeling that I wanted to was listening to podcasts that hit what I needed to hear at certain times, reading books that gave me a better understanding of what the poison alcohol really does to us, and reaching out daily to this amazing community. There are so many people here that are in all stages of stopping drinking and we all help each other out. Give it a try…you honestly will feel so much better and it’ll give you the ability to regain the relationship with your son. Reach out to share you successes, vent your frustrations, and ask for support when you’re craving. Here are some podcasts and books that I’ve read that have helped me so far: podcasts Alcohol Free Life by Janey Lee Grace and the Bubble Hour, books Alcohol Explained and This Naked Mind. Hang in there. Hugs!!!

      • Thank you

        • Two other podcasts that I haven’t had a chance to listen to, but have been recommended are Recovery Elevator and Soberful.

      • Hi @Michael6 everything @jmtn has just posted is exactly the same as me I’m 3 weeks in and I really needed to get sober. I was always a mess but a functioning mess, my family suffered but mostly I did to. This Naked Mind has totally switched how I look at alcohol now it is nothing but poison.. in 3 weeks my life has changed I’m fair happier .. You can do this.. vent on here as much as you like we all have bad days but there is not one problem a drink will solve believe me… x

      • @jmtn has it right – there are all the exact things I did to finally commit to getting AF. And so far it’s working. Every time I’m really craving, I come on here and read, read, read. It really helps.

    • Have you had a look at all the extra material on the website (apart from this amazing members feed), as there is a load of ideas on playing it forward, what to read, how to occupy your time – planning to look out for your triggers so when your monster comes knocking you don’t let them in. While you are not drinking try writing a list of what is likely to make you want to drink, so you can come up with some ideas of what to do at that time instead of drinking. I’m day 415 today, but I had many, many day 1s.

    • I’m sorry to hear it’s all so awful. Please, as the mum of a son who told his dad to go away and leave him alone at age 14, can I encourage you to keep fighting for him. My sons dad took it personally and just what the kid said. That son is now 19 and feels utterly rejected. And a text on a birthday means very little.
      Please please please remember you are the parent, and that boy is waiting to see what you are going to do.
      Choose him, choose to fight for him and prove to him how much you love him.
      It’s all there inside of you, and with help and support you can do this one day at a time.
      We are all with you xo

      • Wise words @seizetheday

      • Thank you so much. I needed to hear that. My son will be 13 next Month. I write to him and send him cards and he doesn’t reply. But I will continue to do so. What he needs is a sober Dad who always turns up when he expects me. That I will work on.

        • Keep going @Michael6 he’s only 13 and he will grow and change. Right now he might be angry, but over time he can learn that you will always be there for him. And from time to time send him a new school bag or hoodie (make sure they’re cool haha). Things that you would do if he was under your roof. Underneath it all he needs you, there is no replacement for you in his life xo

        • Yes, never stop giving and giving, demanding nothing, and you will win him back. He needs to see you really mean it and put your all into getting free and well.
          You can do it, just read the stories here!!!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    Thanks for the encouragement. Just should not have picked up the booze in the first place. Day 1 again today.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    Thanks

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 2 months ago

    Thanks, I didn’t tip what I had down the sink. But got back on the horse quickly today and I am at again. It was stupid to mix alcohol with the tablets I was on, but thankfully I was okay. But what a useless waste of time drinking was.

  • Michael6 posted an update 2 months ago

    Just given in and drinking after 1 week af. On Metranidazole antibiotics which apparently interact badly with alcohol. Anxious, waiting for something horrible to happen. Crazy, wish I could just leave alcohol forever. Partner very upset.

    • Are you brave enough to tip your alcohol down the sink right now, @Michael6? There’s a reason why you don’t mix Metranidazole w/ booze. It’s not a pretend reason. One whole week af shows you’ve got what it takes!

      • Thanks, I didn’t tip what I had down the sink. But got back on the horse quickly today and I am at again. It was stupid to mix alcohol with the tablets I was on, but thankfully I was okay. But what a useless waste of time drinking was.

    • what @malibu said, @michael6. if you did 1 week af then you can do 8 days af.

    • Yeah, metronidazole is one of the biggest do not mix with alcohol drugs. Let’s dump the rest out, go to sleep and begin again tomorrow.

      • Thanks for the encouragement. Just should not have picked up the booze in the first place. Day 1 again today.

    • ‘Yes. Down the sink and off to bed. Straight away with no detours.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    😊👍

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Yes!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    😊

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    I’m with you. Just posted pretty much the same!

  • Michael6 posted an update 3 months ago

    Day 8 today for me. Just wanted to check in and committ to another day sober. Let’s continue to stand together against the monster that is alcoholism. I need to stay on track, no matter what my head says. No excuses.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Skipped dental appointment! Will rebook. Still not drinking. Just need to get through today without “taking a break” and giving in. I had a drink dream last night. I was trying to buy wine. Would be a shame to give in again at 1 week. I need to not give in to that mind trick that says “it would be nice and a break.” Apart from a very short time in my “comfort corner” Pandoras box would be opened again, with all its familiar hell. I need to stay on track, no matter what my mind says.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Thanks, will do. If I was to pick up alcohol today I would lose tomorrow!

  • Michael6 posted an update 3 months ago

    Thanks for those who wrote and encouraged me yesterday re my post about sleeping a lot when af. Day 6 again. I could so easily cave in today, but I must stay on track. I don’t want to go back to drunk/hangover/regret groundhog day. Facing a possible complicated tooth extraction tomorrow. Anxious.

    • And no-one wants to face a tooth extraction with a hangover! Day 6 is great – ride the cravings like a wave and they’ll dissipate. Keep going!! x

    • So glad you are staying with it-thats something you will never regret!!

    • Hiya @Michael6. Ahhh….dentals. I’ll bet you’ll be relieved when the procedure is done and your little mouth is given a fair, healthy chance to recover. Sounds like you’re doing the right thing. That’s what counts 🙂 We like teeth. Teeth are important. Say yes to the teeth. As for putting alcohol into the equation….say no to that scumbag alcohol. It hates to be called out like that, aye. (It really does).

      • Skipped dental appointment! Will rebook. Still not drinking. Just need to get through today without “taking a break” and giving in. I had a drink dream last night. I was trying to buy wine. Would be a shame to give in again at 1 week. I need to not give in to that mind trick that says “it would be nice and a break.” Apart from a very short time in my “comfort corner” Pandoras box would be opened again, with all its familiar hell. I need to stay on track, no matter what my mind says.

    • @michael6 that’s exactly what I felt like – even watched the movie – Groundhog’s Day!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Thanks, yes staying alcohol free is crucial. Every day that I achieve that is a positive.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Thanks for your response. Yes, the adrenalin kicks in when I go looking for alcohol. I relate to that. Then it’s exhaustion on hangover morning. Looking forward to healthy energy!!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months ago

    Thank you.

  • Michael6 posted an update 3 months ago

    Hi all, I’m a few days af again. Every time I put the booze down I want to sleep sleep sleep. From what I understand that’s common. To me it seems that the body goes into restorative, healing mode, after years of being hammered with poison. Like my mind and body are saying “Thank God he’s stopped.” I realise that for the past 10 years a lot of time has been spent binging, then nursing a hangover. Post hangover and the tiredness hits. Now the important thing is to not get complacent again and pick up!! I know also that sleep is very poor when drinking and very deep and sweet when sober. Albeit with crazy dreams! Apparently that’s due to deep REM sleep. My question today is this…When does the energy come back in sobriety? 30 days? 90 days? I just need to keep going and not fall back again into drunk/hangover groundhog day. Early days again.

    • You got this…. one little day at a time, one little step in front of the other. Not sure about regaining energy – suspect it may be different for everyone, but the crazy dreams is right. What is that about? Lol

    • Well done on your decision to stop. I had those long nights of sleep for less than three weeks, they were amazing. I think sobrieties are like snowflakes, all are similar, yet each is unique. Filled with curiosities like the ones you ask, and yet….if we have a drinking problem, then we need to stop drinking, and not just for a little while. It’s that simple. Simple, yet difficult and complicated.

    • Congrats on persisting and returning! I am just a few weeks ahead of you but have found a shift in my energy. Drinking fueled me with a restlessness energy-like an energy from adrenaline. Also I used it as an award to push through stuff I really didn’t want to do. So in some ways it feels I have less energy. But I like the kind of energy I have now better-less intense but steadier instead of burst where I wear out. I feel profoundly calmer. Also I am getting more careful where I put my energy. Some (maybe more than some?) of what I was doing and who I with was not serving me well. At first I thought it was low energy but think now that I just don’t want to do those things or be with those people anymore. It took a lot of effort too the first 3 weeks or so to adjust to not being without alcohol. Try not to expect too much of yourself, do only what is essential and put all of yourself into rest and activity and people who nourish you.

      • Thanks for your response. Yes, the adrenalin kicks in when I go looking for alcohol. I relate to that. Then it’s exhaustion on hangover morning. Looking forward to healthy energy!!

    • lucky you for sleeping, I remember too well being so tired when I first quit, but not being able to sleep. congrats to you on making the decision.

    • yeah, sleep and the need for it is massive. It clears gradually and then the energy starts to come back. If you can just go with it that’s great – and in early days, just staying alcohol free is enough… good on you !

      • Thanks, yes staying alcohol free is crucial. Every day that I achieve that is a positive.

    • For me it was a couple of weeks to a month of the tiredness and needing to sleep. 🙂

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    I will join you. Another 24 hours! 😊

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Day 4! Forgive yourself, then be as good to yourself as you would be to someone else if they came to you after a relapse. You are worth it. Don’t lose hope.

  • Thanks to all who encouraged me yesterday and supported me to stay sober at day 8. Unfortunately I caved in and drank 4 cans of strong cider in the evening. Bad idea as ever. Back on the horse quickly today. Day 1 again!

    • So – what overrode your desire to be sober? You don’t need to answer, except to yourself, so you can identify the danger point another time.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you. It’s a shame but I caved in and drunk 4 strong cans of cider in the evening. Could have been worse as I haven’t drunk today and am back on the horse quite quickly. Even those 4 cans were enough to change me so that I sent unhelpful messages and woke depressed with a crazy head. Oh well, day 1 again.

    • Hi @michael6, I’ve just logged on and wondered if there’d be an update from you.
      Ok, just start again, or rather, add that experience to your toolbox. If it’s day 1 again then there must also be quite a few AF days, right? It’s not a straight line. And you’ve gotten right back on the horse. That was a night when you needed more supports or preparation or both – now you know what those times look and feel like. Do you know if anything in particular set you off, a thought or feeling? Have a sense of anything you could do differently? You can do this, you just have to work out your own particular ‘how’.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks, yes I sometimes drink af cobra beer. Still feel like a drink. I wish the idea wasn’t at all appealing. If I give in now I know the fallout would be horrible all round.

  • Reaching out. Day 8 AF and sitting here thinking how nice it would be to drink. Get some wine in, watch a movie etc. The reality? After a temporary relief of giving in I would be in blackout, sending crazy messages, getting nasty, wanting more and more alcohol, etc etc etc. Then I would wake up tomorrow morning with the same old regret, guilt, sweats, depression and anxiety. Any support to stay on the sober track greatly appreciated.

    • Hi @Michael6. Yep, you’re dead right, that’s how it would be. I found it helped to really focus in on that, really imagine it.
      And then, whilst I know some folk say don’t, I drank no-alcohol beer to start with, when I was feeling like a drink. Cos at least I wasn’t reinforcing the addictive alcohol. It definitely helped (af wine is vile, some of the beers are quite ok).
      The other thing it to do something totally different – go for a walk, go swimming or whatever.
      Hang in there – it gets easier. Today – we’re not going to drink. Xx

      • Thanks, yes I sometimes drink af cobra beer. Still feel like a drink. I wish the idea wasn’t at all appealing. If I give in now I know the fallout would be horrible all round.

    • Ha nice work @michael6 naming the actual crap that would happen if you drank helps so much!!!! The reality is so vile. You’ve got better things to do with your life- even going to bed early!!! Tell that wine witch / beer bastard to F off. You’ve got this.

    • I found it handy to use an imaginery fly swat and when I had those thoughts of a nice drink I would just swat them away. They are just thoughts. I would not act on them and throw away all the hard work of those first few weeks restraint. The thoughts pass. It also helped me to remember that I had made a decision to end my drinking life and allow myself to grow into the person I want to be and that decsion was non negotiable. That in itself is very powerful. Sounds too simple I know, but it worked for me. In all situations I would say to myself (or sometimes to others) “No thank you, I don’t drink”

    • Good one playing it forward @michael6. It’s been a few hours since you posted so I’m not sure how it went since then. We just have to throw lots of tricks and tools at it in the first wee while and ride out the cravings. Yes it would be nice if it wasn’t appealing but 8 days in that’s a bit much to expect of yourself. Your brain will take a while to rewire. The cravings do subside, believe me. Meanwhile, keep telling yourself the craving is just a craving and it will pass. Some ideas:
      Distract yourself; keep busy, go outdoors, do things that make drinking difficult. Like driving. Using a bench saw. Whatever.
      Bargain with yourself, eg, if I still feel like this in the morning I’ll decide then whether to have a drink or not.
      Hydrate! Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
      Sugary snacks help as booze has a lot of sugar so we got into two sorts of withdrawals really.
      If all else fails, take yourself off to bed.
      Think about how great you will feel in the morning, how relieved, how proud of yourself.
      Make yourself a list of all the things you like about being free of booze.
      Go back and read your day 1 post.
      Tell yourself it’s a craving and will pass. It will pass. Do yours have a time limit? Mine would switch on with a vengeance about 5pm and switch off again about 9pm. Maybe there are just few hours you have to wait out.
      You won’t have to give up everything pleasurable. In time you’ll be able to have that relaxing time, watch a movie etc but with other treats. But for now maybe the associative triggers are too overwhelming.
      It is possible to encourage/trick your brain by having an AF drink, making it specially, fancy glass etc, sitting down with your movie and telling yourself this is relaxing time. But we’ve got to be willing to play along with ourselves on that one, as it’s bound to feel a bit weird at first.
      All the best 🙂

      • Thank you. It’s a shame but I caved in and drunk 4 strong cans of cider in the evening. Could have been worse as I haven’t drunk today and am back on the horse quite quickly. Even those 4 cans were enough to change me so that I sent unhelpful messages and woke depressed with a crazy head. Oh well, day 1 again.

        • Hi @michael6, I’ve just logged on and wondered if there’d be an update from you.
          Ok, just start again, or rather, add that experience to your toolbox. If it’s day 1 again then there must also be quite a few AF days, right? It’s not a straight line. And you’ve gotten right back on the horse. That was a night when you needed more supports or preparation or both – now you know what those times look and feel like. Do you know if anything in particular set you off, a thought or feeling? Have a sense of anything you could do differently? You can do this, you just have to work out your own particular ‘how’.

    • Hi @michael6 Try re-positioning this in your mind (you have to do this a few times before it starts to become second-nature) When the idea comes that you deserve a drink for being so good then shift the recognition of alcohol from being a reward to being a punishment… you already have the list. “Alcohol isn’t a reward, it is a punishment. It will make me feel guilty, remorseful, ashamed, depressed and anxious. I am better off without those thank-you”.

    • Hi @michael6 All the suggestions here are great. For me I found that a new “habitual behaviour” was what helped me through the wine witching hours – 5pm – 9pm. I decided on my new drink of choice – tart cherry juice and soda water and I would drink that while I made dinner. It was a special drink which I didn’t drink at any other time. Cherry juice is also good for you and helps you sleep so I felt I was doing my body good. I came on this site and that helped as well and I kept focussing on a hangover free morning. Oh and I did heaps of reading.

    • @michael6 yep, that’s exactly what would happen to me as well. Not a fun time at all!

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Amen

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks very much. I have dipped in and out of AA for some years now. But I will stick with going to some meetings and reading the book, along with anything else that helps. Yes, I have also noticed that a lot of the “new” support is similar to what has been in AA for years. I have been to SMART recovery a few times and noticed that the group itself is a “higher power.” Also a lot of the exercises in groups like SMART are also suggested in AA. Basically CBT tools. Play it forward etc.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thanks. I didn’t mean to imply that AA’s tell you what to do. It’s usually suggestions. But there is a big emphasis on meetings.

    • Oh good, a bit of an over reaction on my behalf. I think all the answers here give lots of balance. If you try and get in touch with what YOU need, your quiet inner voice of health, I think you will find your way through. If you get a sponsor, perhaps set early boundaries that you do not want ‘suggestions’ that go against your inner voice – and perhaps your own spiritual guide?

  • Any who attend AA on here who find AA works for them without having to live in meetings? There is a lot I like about AA. I just get frustrated when I attend and it’s suggested 90 in 90, get to 2 meetings a day etc. I find it’s a trigger in itself hearing about alcohol in meetings all the time. Surely it’s about lifestyle balance? It seems to me that the impression is given often in AA that if you don’t get to meetings meetings meetings you won’t recover?

    • I have never been, so really should not judge, but what you say makes me want to scream.
      Yes, it obviously helps many who find good groups, but anyone who tells someone else how it will be, what YOUR personal outcome will be, needs a smack in the.. No, rephrase, is being disrespectful.
      ‘Recover’ is a very loaded word for starters… Please do whatever helps you get away from a toxic, addictive substance, and find how best to retrain your brain.
      I think our @ro among others, may have something to say about this. I know she will say look up Rational Recovery.
      Keep in touch, let us know what you think, and see what the tribe here can offer – heaps of experience and wisdom here 🙂

      • Thanks. I didn’t mean to imply that AA’s tell you what to do. It’s usually suggestions. But there is a big emphasis on meetings.

        • Oh good, a bit of an over reaction on my behalf. I think all the answers here give lots of balance. If you try and get in touch with what YOU need, your quiet inner voice of health, I think you will find your way through. If you get a sponsor, perhaps set early boundaries that you do not want ‘suggestions’ that go against your inner voice – and perhaps your own spiritual guide?

    • I drank like a fish for 40 years then gave it up successfully because I found this amazing online way of communicating with others and getting and giving support. It’s like this site came along right at the right time in my life. I think if you have the desire deep down to change your life then you will also have the courage to match that desire. AA treats it like a sickness that you have for life and you will fail to get better if you don’t keep going back. I think it’s nothing more than a stupid greedy dumb bad habit that we can DECIDE to stop and make that decision non negotiable. I’m not saying it’s a walk in the park. I’m saying I personally would rather depend on myself and just get on with it. so that’s what I did, and I’m nearly 5 years sober and life’s a fricking treat! No disrespect to AA, I have the utmost respect for the fact that it helps millions of people. Just different strokes for different folks….heck! how old fashioned is that phrase!!! Hey whatever you do @Michael16 you are very wise for landing right here. All the best x

    • Hi @Michael6! For the longest time, AA was thought of as the only way to get sober. I went to one meeting, hated it, kept drinking. Read lots more about how to get sober. Many people do it on their own, many swear by AA. There are online AA meetings. And there are a ton of other online resources, this is the great thing about getting sober now – the online world. I gained accountability with Belle on tiredofthinkingaboutdrinking.com. I love thesoberschool.com, hipsobriety.com, lauramckowen.com, videos by Annie Grace, she has a 30 day challenge on her site I think. Unpickledblog.com is great too. Many more out there, the more you read about sobriety, listen to podcasts, the more you rewire the brain, from thinking drinking is a good idea. Keep checking in, you can do this! : )

    • AA set me on my way and gave me some great tools to move forward with sober living. It didn’t keep me sober. I rebelled at many of the ideas and the dictates. 90 in 90 is a good way to get a person who doesn’t know how to live without alcohol into a safe place. I knew people who stayed in the building from morning until night and did 90 in 30. Feel free to use bits and pieces of every program you can find to craft whatever works for you.

      • Second what @jocord said. Also AA is a great way to make sober friends. Most of my were drunkards, like myself and I had to get away from that lifestyle. Working the steps is also a great way to become at peace with yourself. I go to some meetings, not everyday, and do other things recovery orientated as well.

    • I was in AA for 25 years. It took a long time for me to learn the program…..but it does work for me. I prefer being a bit more empowered and that’s why I came here, read Mrs.D’s books and The Naked Mind by Annie Grace. I needed some of the scientific facts in my back pocket and not just solely spiritual. In all honesty, to learn the AA program you have to live it….they say it starts working you and that’s true because you learn how to intuitively handle situations that used to baffle you by means of practicing the steps. There is a lot more to it but it does not hurt to have it in your back pocket. You can’t learn unless you go to actual book studies. If you want to know how the book actually works that is what I suggest and there is less fluff, less drama and just focus in book study meetings. Let me know if you want to know more. Happy to share any time. (The reason they want you to go to 90 meetings in 90 days is two fold so you stay sober and so that you can learn how to work the program – problem is you have to have a sponsor and that sponsor should know EXACTLY how to work the program and teach you but most of them have no idea).

    • @Michael6, yes, you do need balance, I agree. So maybe for someone that means 90 in 90, and for you that means some other combination of resources that may include AA (or not).

      I started AA after 3 years of sobriety this year. I’m finding it complements rather than conflicts with everything else I’m doing–therapy, yoga, mediation (also encouraged by AA), exercise, eating right, getting rest, online support here, reading books, podcast after podcast. I got lucky with my sponsor, who is terrific and wise. I don’t always feel comfortable, and sometimes when I’m thinking maybe it’s just not the right fit, someone says something that reaches right to my core, or I try a suggestion and things turn out in a way I wouldn’t have imagined or predicted. Or I share something and feel the power of being heard and understood. It’s both challenging me and helping me.

      I have noticed that a lot of the “new” support available to us online or in podcasts is very much like what I find in AA meetings, actually; that is, people sharing their stories and reaching out to each other to ask for help or offer support. I also have found that when I read the Big Book now as opposed to three years ago, I’m not so hung up on the admittedly stilted language that feels like it’s from another era, because, well, it is from another era. But it’s also about us now, I’ve discovered. When I first dipped into the Big Book, it seemed to be all about people far worse off than me, and some of the stories are completely different from mine, since I’m lucky enough not to have had delirium tremens or spent any time in sanitariums or in hospitals detoxing, but I’ve also found that the Big Book has people who are on various parts of the alcoholic/problem drinker spectrum. So we haven’t just discovered “grey area drinking”–it’s there in the stories of people who came before us.

      I’m glad I gave it a try again after thinking it wasn’t for me three years ago when I first sampled some meetings. I’m…[Read more]

      • Thanks very much. I have dipped in and out of AA for some years now. But I will stick with going to some meetings and reading the book, along with anything else that helps. Yes, I have also noticed that a lot of the “new” support is similar to what has been in AA for years. I have been to SMART recovery a few times and noticed that the group itself is a “higher power.” Also a lot of the exercises in groups like SMART are also suggested in AA. Basically CBT tools. Play it forward etc.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you for the encouragement. Yes, whatever happened, alcohol would make things worse in the long term. I may feel a very short escape (or the illusion of escape) but tomorrow morning I would feel like I’m back in a dark pit. And I would still be worried about what happened today! Then I would have to clear up the destruction I will have caused by drinking and have to start from 0 again! Definitely not worth it.

    • Yes, drinking would make resolutions much harder to find. Well done for reaching out and making a plan for the day. Good luck with sorting the access – so very important. Are you in NZ? It is supported to the max for the good of the child.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you for the encouragement.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you. I am spending the day with my partner. Been for lunch and a hair cut. Will write down what happened.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 3 months, 1 week ago

    Thank you. I think something needs to be in writing. A legal document that we both stick to. I think I need to collect and drop my son off away from his home. I also need to get more recovery under my belt.

    • You have reflected on what happened and how you can change what happens going forward. Keeping off the booze is the greatest gift you can give both you and your son. Best wishes

  • Hi all, I haven’t posted here in a while. I’m reaching out for help today. I’m only on day 5 alcohol free today and feeling very vulnerable. Just went to collect my 12 year old son from his mothers as he was due to spend the day with me today. We got into crossed words on her doorstep, but nothing that should have blown the day out. She cancelled the day and shut the door on me. I feel this was using my son as a weapon. I then received a very distressing message from her about how upset he is. A very guilt inducing message. Now I just want to drink. But I know if I do then I will say and do things I regret and wake up tomorrow depressed and ill and it will have solved nothing, but will definitely have made things worse. I guess I just need to manage todays emotions and fears, without pouring alcohol on them.

    • I am sorry you have had this experience with your sons mother. You are right alcohol will not help. Have you got some support to help you to cope with this relationship so that you can have quality time with your son. Thinking of you right now. I hope you can make a plan going forward that gives you and your son some successful contact. Remaining AF is a really good start.

      • Thank you. I think something needs to be in writing. A legal document that we both stick to. I think I need to collect and drop my son off away from his home. I also need to get more recovery under my belt.

        • You have reflected on what happened and how you can change what happens going forward. Keeping off the booze is the greatest gift you can give both you and your son. Best wishes

    • First of all…. Well done for posting here instead of opening a bottle.
      Write everything down that happened. What really happened not what you thought happened.
      Then write down all of your feelings about it.
      Brain dump everything no one else needs to read it so be honest.
      This will unload it from your brain to paper and it might not feel like it will do you much good right now. It will further down the sober path you are taking.
      Get yourself out of the way of any triggers.
      Go somewhere different.
      Go get a coffee.
      Visit a relative or friend you’ve put off for months or years.
      Go to the library.
      Buy a gift for your son.
      Clean the bathroom.
      Make some soup.
      Keep writing on here.
      You CAN do this and you will feel empowered tomorrow because you did it.

      • Thank you. I am spending the day with my partner. Been for lunch and a hair cut. Will write down what happened.

    • oxxoxox Hugs and validation, if you’d like them.
      When kids get into the crossfire of divorce it’s always hard. I wish she had allowed you to keep your regular visitation time. Now might be a good time to talk to a mediator and see how you and her can better navigate those heated topics and feelings that seem to have bubbled up at the doorstep. You will see him again and the older he gets the more you will be in his life. Let’s focus on that and let’s not drink. This shall pass. You have a legacy to leave and a son to father. He will want a relationship with you as kids naturally do. Today sucked, but it’s just one day in the grand scheme of things. Counseling by yourself can also help to build coping skills on how to react/not react when you and your ex get into an argument again. Hang in there. It will be ok again.

    • Well done coming on here for support, it’s the best thing you can do to get strength in your resolve to handle this without booze. You’re playing it forward already which is exactly what you need to do, booze will make this situation much worse than it already is.
      I love the suggestion to get your son a gift, and then next time you see him you can give it to him and tell him, “last time we didn’t get to spend the day together I was really gutted so I got this for you”.
      Stick at it, don’t give up. He needs you and you need you.
      Big hugs xo

      • Thank you for the encouragement. Yes, whatever happened, alcohol would make things worse in the long term. I may feel a very short escape (or the illusion of escape) but tomorrow morning I would feel like I’m back in a dark pit. And I would still be worried about what happened today! Then I would have to clear up the destruction I will have caused by drinking and have to start from 0 again! Definitely not worth it.

        • Yes, drinking would make resolutions much harder to find. Well done for reaching out and making a plan for the day. Good luck with sorting the access – so very important. Are you in NZ? It is supported to the max for the good of the child.

    • @michael6 so sorry you are dealing with this. It happens with divorced people but she should not have prevented you from having a day with your son that he deserves. She just punished your son for her anger with you. That’s unacceptable. I’d get legal advice and definitely do drop off’s and pick up’s in a public place. Drinking never makes anything better. Stay strong – when you are sober you will be there for your son and he will learn to count on you in time. You can be sure of it so what a great gift to look forward to! And soon your relationship with him will be between you and no one else. 🙂 Keep the faith!

    • get sober, day by day, save every penny in a jar that you don’t use for alcohol and get an attorney that will make her quit acting like a shit. he is your son too. she is depriving him of his right to be with you, not just your right to be with him. best. @michael6

  • Thanks to all for the support yesterday. Back on the horse today.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Thanks. I have severe OCD so my head gets to screaming point. How does a person not drink when the anxiety is so high!?

  • Oh boy, been drinking again since yesterday. Can’t see any way out of this. Almost finished 1 bottle of red today and have second one in front of me. My partner is so stressed and upset. I have gifts and abilities, but am sitting alone wasting my life and watching crap TV. 😞

    • Been there. I’ve honestly sprinted to the sink and dumped it down (it’s getting dumped one way or another, right?) and immediately cracked out the “emergency kit”. Yes, I have one. it’s crystal light fruit punch (dyed teeth: hello) and micro popcorn. Then I proceed to watch TV and do everything I can to just. not. think for the day. I also am working with bipolar disorder so just putting the breaks on, saying eff it, and taking the day off sometimes helps a little. It’s not easy from there but I feel like just doing that next right thing helps. I think that’s a AA saying? You’ve GOT this. Just make it through today, @michael6

    • @michael6 you know that’s not what you want and coming here to post
      Shows you want to change – the time will come. Maybe start researching ways to handle your anxiety and treats that dont include alcohol. Sending lots of strength your way

    • That sucks no way around that. I am guessing you know that alcohol makes anxiety so so much worse. It’s not a myth or a cliche that alcohol makes it all worse, its a depressant as I am sure you know. Just keep going, @Michael6, keep posting and trying to get alcohol free. It’s a long journey towards getting there sometimes.

    • How about seeing your dr and getting a referral to a counsellor ? And maybe Antabuse might help? ❤️

    • Have you tried going to AA? I have my second meeting today but knowing I have a meeting made me second guess my thoughts on having a drink plus I think they find you a sponsor which I am looking forward to. That maybe some help. Also why not just get your own counselling rather then wait for the Dr to refer you?

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    I have written gratitude lists in the past. But yes, time for another. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Yes makes sense, thank you.

  • Hi all, I received lots of very helpful messages yesterday to help me get back on the horse, after drinking the day before. So thank you. Second day af today. Some drinking thoughts as I feel a lot of pressure in my mind. So tempting to shut all the noise up with booze. But I know that would be a very temporary measure, with awful fallout and consequences. I need to find a way to de-stress without the poison.

    • Well done for getting through that first day! Keep yourself busy and have plans in place to distract you x

    • Hey @michael6 – have you tried writing a gratitude list? List all of the things you are grateful for. Sometimes that helps me focus on something other than the stress and negatives in my life. Worse comes to worse, just go to bed. Tomorrow is another day! xo

    • I try to flip it and think of one, only one good reason to have a drink. (1 bottle really). If I’m being honest with myself I can challenge every reason TO have a drink. A long list of benefits never stopped me from drinking. Trying to find 1 reason to drink challenged my thinking.

    • Things I found helpful @michael6 are Netflix, reading, any form of exercise or housework, 1000 piece jigsaw. I’m not sure of your circumstances but do you have a dog you can take for a walk ?

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Indeed, thanks

  • Michael6 posted a new activity comment 5 months, 3 weeks ago

    Thanks

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